Millions of Internet users enjoy the best online features, pages, games, and all kinds of stuff in the comfort of their homes from their personal computers, whether they are Windows, MAC or any other operating systems.
However, each day more and more people migrate from the desktop PCs to the added portability that smartphones offer. Users can browse the web from their mobile devices and can have access to numerous apps, services, games, books and many other assets and goods from the Google Play store that Android offers.
But there is a small catch: many of these apps and services are geographically blocked, which means that you can’t have access to them if you are from a different nation or region. This is often the result of licensing issues.
Whatever the reason, you need to know that the fact that you get the message “This app is not available in your region” does not necessarily mean that you will not have access to it. The Internet provides you with several ways to bypass geo-blocking and access content of your liking.
Geo-blocking: what is it?
Some pages, services or apps are only available for some countries or regions designed by geographical locations. If a user tries to download a geo-blocked app on Android, the following message will appear: “This item isn’t available in your country.”
For licensing reasons, the creators and developers of an app may not make it available for other markets other than their own, at least at the beginning stages. You often see that, after a period of stabilization, different regions begin to have access to the said app. Licensing agreements to make apps obtainable in several markets can depend on whether the app can be popular in the discussed locations, or if the big studios approve that the geo-blocking is lifted, in case the app is destined to reproduce and make music available for download.
How to access region-blocked media on your Android
Thankfully, there are several ways to access region-blocked media on your Android, from watching restricted videos in your location to having access to blocked apps in one nation or region, for example, the BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom.
To access region-blocked media on your Android, you can:
Install a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an encryption technology that masks your IP address and the rest of your data and traffic so no one can track you or your connection.
Additionally, hiding your IP address and lending you a new one at your convenience (with a quality VPN provider, you can choose to connect to servers in all continents, depending on what you need at the time) allows you to bypass geo-blocking restrictions. You will pick a VPN server from a country that will enable the use and download of the said app.
For example, if you want to download the BBC IPlayer in Japan or Hulu in Germany, you can connect to a UK (for the former) or the US (for the latter) VPN and those services will think you are accessing from each app’s host country, thus avoiding blocks.
TorGuard is the most reliable alternative when it comes to Virtual Private Networks because it has servers all around the world that allow you to have access to more apps that may be geographically restricted.
Get a Smart DNS proxy server: With a Smart DNS proxy server, you can also mask your online identity. The difference with a VPN is that Smart DNS proxies do not reroute all of your traffic, they just do it with the information of your connection associated with geographical locations.
Smart DNS proxy servers like Unlocator can hide your IP address and let you access region-blocked apps on Android, and they will not slow down your Internet speed like some VPNs will.
Get Hola: Hola is an online free service that accelerates and compresses your data, but also has a feature that allows you to unblock sites and apps around the world for your Android. It is easy to set up, but you have to keep in mind that Android 2.3 or older versions may need your device to be rooted. From Android 4.0 on, you will not need this.